This is a fun mid-week story to keep your spirits up. Some folks at electric bicycle company Evelo recently completed what was possibly the first-ever coast-to-coast, self-supported journey on two electric bicycles. (Just to be clear, that would be coast-to-coast in the US, not England or Iceland or something.) The duo completed this journey on less than $20 of electricity. Notably, Evelo’s electric bikes get about 1,000 miles for what it would cost to buy one gallon of gas. 1,000 miles per gallon of gas equivalency… yeah, not bad.
But, why travel across the country on an electric bike? Perhaps just for a little fun?
I’m sure that was part of it, but apparently the goal was a bit broader (no surprise). The purpose of the trip was primarily to promote electric bikes as a viable, green, cheap mode of transportation in the United States.
Bicycling So Popular… for Recreation, Not Transportation
Bicycling is insanely popular as a recreational activity. But far too many people don’t seem to catch that they can extend that fun into their daily life by making it their main mode of transport.
Effort & Sweat… Ugh
Perhaps some people are really turned off by having to use their muscles a little bit to get to work or the shop (not exactly a healthy aversion, but very common). Additionally, many who aren’t actually against that extra physical activity are still turned off by the slight inconvenience of having to shower or change at work (and many workplaces still don’t even provide special facilities for that).
The nice thing about an electric bicycle, for those averse to muscle-powered transportation or showering/changing at work, is that you can ride on electricity instead of your muscles, and yet still enjoy the wind in your face and the youthful fun of bicycling.
Another obstacle some people face is a long commute to work (6+ miles, we’ll say). A long commute can really require a high level of fitness and dedication that not everyone has.
An electric bike can cut down the time quite a bit in such situations, as well as the effort it takes to cover those longer distances, thus offering a middle ground between a normal bicycle and a car.
EBs Filling a Gap
Basically, EBs (my abbreviation for electric bikes) make bicycling more accessible to a wider range of the people. In all seriousness, if your local terrain, age, or fitness level is holding you back from bicycling for transportation purposes (or from doing so more), perhaps an electric bicycle is worth a trial spin.
As just shown by this cycling duo (that would be Boris Mordkovich and Anna Mostovetsky, by the way), even bicycling across the country on these things isn’t such a challenge….
Anyway, a big congrats and thanks to Boris and Anna! Not only did they ride EBs across the country, but they also stopped in about 15 cities along the way to give talks and presentations and get folks more familiar with these wonderful machines. A big thanks to you two!
Image Credit: Evelo/Trans-American Electric Bike Tour
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.